Kraft Foods is relaunching Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) Bubble as a bubbly-shaped bar and Cadbury Wispa has a new format; Nestlé is reshaping Aero chocolate bars into ’snappable bubbles’; while Mars is extending its Galaxy Bubbles range. Quite simply, chocolate manufacturers have gone bubble crazy.

The CDM Bubbly bar has been around for some time but it was quite a boring slab. From the outside it looked like any other CDM bar; it wasn’t until you bit into it that you were aware of the aerated chocolate inside. However, the new CDM Bubbly bar is actually shaped like bubbles making it a lot more fun. Matthew Williams, marketing activation director at Kraft Foods, comments: "Research shows that consumers see block chocolate as very safe and traditional, but this also means that some can see it as a bit functional. The launch of CDM Bubbly aims to inject excitement into the category by introducing a dynamic and quirky new way to eat tablet chocolate.

"Initial trials have been extremely successful, with 90% of people asked saying they would probably or definitely buy this brand new product."

As well as the standard CDM Bubbly, there is a white chocolate with a milk chocolate coating version.

The launch is being supported by a £6m marketing campaign including TV, cinema, outdoor, in-store and digital activity. The chocolate is available to retailers in a shelf-ready outer with a built-in pusher. This new cardboard and elastic mechanism ensures the bars stand up straight and are pushed to the front each time one is removed, for maximum on-shelf visibility.

Meanwhile, bubbly bar Wispa is available in a new sharing bag. Cadbury Bitsa Wispa contains bite-sized chunks of Wispa in a convenient re-sealable sharing format. The 130g bag has a recommended retail price of £2.03. It’s a good move as Nielsen data shows that the chocolate bags category is worth £313m and is growing by 4.5% year-on-year. And bitesize products account for 9.5% of chocolate sales, and 6.8% of total confectionery sales.

Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Kraft Foods, says Cadbury Twirl Bites, launched last September, was the most successful bag launch to date just 22 weeks after launch the product was worth £11m (Nielsen). She reckons the success of the product is largely thanks to the trend for Big Nights In, and the fact that these formats offer consumers a new way of sharing chocolate with friends and family.

Cadbury Wispa was brought back onto the UK market in 2007 following a Facebook campaign, and was the biggest countline launch of the past 10 years, becoming the number-one selling bar in the UK during its first week back on the market (Nielsen). Four years on, the brand remains popular with consumers, and it is a top three best-selling chocolate single in the UK.

Meanwhile, over at Nestlé, they have been busy reshaping Aero peppermint medium and milk medium bars into 10 easily snappable ’bubbles’. Apparently this is to make the product less messy to eat and more "portionable".

At the same time, Nestlé has launched a limited-edition Aero orange single as well as an Aero orange Bubbles bag. The company says mixing Aero bubbles with an orange flavour has already proved popular with shoppers as recent addition, the Aero orange block, is now worth £4m. The total Aero brand is seeing significant growth, up 12% to £93m (IRI).

See it, buy it

Chocolate is an important category for convenience retailers but, according to Cadbury research, 68% of shoppers don’t see confectionery in store. However, of those who do, 80% buy it. "This means that to achieve the best results, it is important to stock the right range and flag key brands within the confectionery category," says Nash.

"As over 50% of confectionery purchases are made on impulse, it is also key that the products are clearly visible."

Mars’ trade communications manager, Bep Dhaliwal, says that once the main display has been optimised and is driving sales, forecourt retailers should look to implement secondary confectionery sites to drive impulse sales.

"This is another great way of driving promotional activity and maximising the sales potential of the store as a whole," she says.

Mars has a range of equipment to help retailers with their confectionery displays. For example, the Slenda Glenda enables forecourts to stock Mars’ bitesize pouch range, which Dhaliwal says is a great way to capitalise on the sharing trend, and for those customers looking to enjoy a night in at home with friends and family.

There are also bitesize wall dividers which create a much tidier impression on-shelf and clearly communicate brands, as well as till-point display units.

"Mars’ Bambino Units at the till have proven to deliver a sales uplift of up to 12%, making them ideal for smaller stores with limited space at the tills. The Bambino unit includes expandable shelves allowing retailers to stock standard and duo sizes and even Galaxy large format blocks."

in brief

Storck UK has added two new lines to the Werther’s Original range. Werther’s caramel fudge is fudge covered in milk chocolate, while Werther’s chocolate crunch is nutty caramel pieces coated in milk chocolate. Both come in 100g bags.

Kinder Bueno is backed by a new advertising campaign and a ’try me free’ promotion. Bhavisha Umradia, customer development manager for Bueno, comments: "We’re confident that consumers who try Bueno will love its unique taste so we’re giving them the opportunity to try it on us. By attracting new customers to the brand and driving frequency of purchase, this campaign is set to drive incremental sales for retailers."

Mars says Galaxy’s Win A Million Moments is the biggest ever on-pack promotion for the brand in the UK. It gives customers the chance to win and choose from a prize fund of over £13m. Prizes include music downloads, manicures and lunch in Paris. The Galaxy brand is launching its first-ever Limited Edition product to support its new Win A Million Moments promotion. That new product is the 31g Galaxy Bubbles orange.

American chocolate brands are fast finding favour in the UK. Euro Food Brands distributes both Hershey’s and Reece’s products here. They are currently listed by wholesalers including Booker, Bestway, Hancocks and Palmer & Harvey. Euro Food Brands says the most popular lines here so far are Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reece’s Nutrageous and Reece’s Pieces.


Paul Baxter, DC Baxter, Sleaford, Lincolnshire

"Chocolate sales are holding up well. We sell a lot of it by the till so it’s an impulse purchase. We’ve just started stocking all the new Kit Kat Chunky varieties but it’s too early to say how well they are going.

"I take price-marked stock when I can get it as it sells better, but we are part of Spar and they don’t take a lot of price-marked packs. However, they do some good promotions. At the moment we are offering two bars of Galaxy for 80p and three Creme Eggs for £1."